lichDear Osvaud,

This is Osvaud. I let myself start with illusion (colloquially known as the best school of magic) and then gave myself some time off after the whole mental breakdown after conversion thing. Well then, I guess I’ll move on with my least favorite school of magic… evocation.

Guess what? It is still both horrendously dull and incredibly, annoyingly amazing.

Every arcanist wants to at some point blow up a bunch of unaware enemies from space. Deep down, the second we can cast fireball, we begin dreaming of doofuses clumped up like emperor penguins. Winning in some fraction of six seconds is a surreal, godlike rush.

The difference between most arcanists and evokers is we only recreationally cast fireballs. I mean, not all the time… but, you know… every once in a while. Like, maybe when you are with a bunch of friends, and they are all doing it, and they pass you some bat guano already rolled up into a nice, tight ball. You don’t want to be the one person in the party who isn’t lighting the place up!

Evokers, though, are always chasing the high. It can get real out of control, real quick. Back in the day, we old-timers used to call it “Chasing the White Dragon” because evokers go to crazy lengths to fight a monster with vulnerability to fire. Of course, these days, the saying doesn’t really work. (And chasing the mummy lord doesn’t have the same ring to it.)

I sometimes feel like… maybe if my life had gone a little differently, I could have ended up an evoker too. I am also sure there are a lot of evokers who regret their bad decisions but can no longer see a way out.

Instead of judging, maybe next time try helping. Show them there is more to magic (even evocation) than optimizing damage output against monster resistance and immunity Go slow, and be patient. Here are a few possible ways to get them started on the long road to recovery.

  • A continual flame spell looks like normal fire, and it isn’t an illusion. As a wizarding fashion accessory, making your clothes look on fire is hard to beat. You can also sell people fake flame tongues, or even make an entire room seem on fire. Bonus points if there is a trap dealing cold damage or camouflaged fire elementals.
  • The sending spell is underutilized as a means of psychological warfare. Is it between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m.? I guess it is time for your nightly attempt at mental scream-yodel karaoke. It’d be a shame if your enemy’s subjugated masses kept hearing all those limericks you wrote about Dear Leader.
  • Contingency is, as always, amazing. Here’s a brief list of fun options:
    • False life, (greater) invisibility, mirror image… etc., to activate when the same spell ends or is dispelled.
    • Fire shield, when a creature is about to hit you.
    • Legend lore, when you talk about a legendary thing you don’t already know about.
  • I hope everyone understands the incredible defensive potential of tiny hut, but it might not occur to most that you can daisy-chain the domes. It springs up around you and ends if you move outside. So walk to the edge and begin ritually casting. You can move while casting, so bolt out right before you finish or take a single step if it’s really bad out there. The spell ends, and the new one begins. If you are careful, you can “turtle” your way through a lot of impossible situations. After all… you can always stop and take a nap.

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